Floating at Bitter Springs

Summer in the Top End

Experience the feeling of summer early in the Northern Territory. With its lush landscapes, glistening waterfalls, and crystal-clear swimming holes, the Top End offers the perfect oasis to escape the heat. From exhilarating wildlife encounters to thrilling outdoor adventures, the Northern Territory’s tropical summer promises an unforgettable journey through the heart of the Australian tropics.

We’ve put together an itinerary covering where to stay and what to do in and around Kakadu National Park, Nitmiluk National Park, and Litchfield National Park, as well as important things to note at the end.


Kakadu National Park 

What to do?

We recommend starting your Kakadu adventure at Bowali Visitor Centre. Walk through the interpretive display to learn about the plants, animals, and landscapes that you will see in the park. The staff at the visitor centre are on hand to help plan your trip and answer any questions you may have.

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu’s largest and most famous wetland, comprises extensive wetlands that include river channels, floodplains, and backwater swamps. Cruise along the Billabong on a tour with Yellow Water Cruises, who exclusively operate on the Yellow Water Billabong year-round. Yellow Water Cruises provide up to six cruises a day of 90- or 120-minute duration, with sunrise and sunset being the most popular, so be sure to book well in advance!

Marrawunddi Arts & Culture is a vibrant and enriching cultural centre that celebrates the rich Indigenous heritage of the region, offering visitors a captivating insight into the art, traditions, and stories of the local Aboriginal communities. The centre’s dynamic displays, workshops, and performances offer a unique chance to immerse yourself in the ancient culture and gain a deeper understanding of the Northern Territory’s Indigenous roots

Nawurlandji Lookout is an absolute must-visit destination for those seeking the best panoramic views of the Top End’s breathtaking summer landscapes. This lookout offers an awe-inspiring vantage point that overlooks the sprawling wilderness and ancient sandstone cliffs.

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Twin Falls and Jim Jim Falls from a whole new perspective during the Top End’s summer, with an exhilarating helicopter adventure. Soar above the rugged landscape and witness the awe-inspiring waterfalls cascading down sheer cliffs. 

Motor Car Falls is a favourite in the tropical summer when Kakadu’s larger falls tend to be inaccessible. The falls are easily accessible via a 7.5km return hike, leading you through a scenic trail decorated with native flora.


Nitmiluk National Park

Where to stay?

BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks – Katherine is an idyllic oasis in the stunning landscapes of Katherine. Whether you prefer the convenience of an unpowered or powered site or the comfort of a cozy cabin, BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks – Katherine has got you covered. With modern facilities and a friendly atmosphere, it’s the perfect base for your summer adventures. Take a refreshing dip in our swimming pool and unwind at our spa.

Spring into an early summer with our exclusive Summer Done Differently deals – Top End Chill Out offering 20% off sites and Summer Savings in the NT offering 15% off cabins. These deals are bookable until 16 October 2023, and you can stay between October to March.


What to do?

Make Katherine Visitor Information Centre your first stop to learn all things about tours, experiences, and attractions with the team. The staff will offer great local information about the attractions and will help to ensure the experience is seamless.

A must-visit summertime destination is the Katherine Hot Springs for a refreshing and rejuvenating experience. As the temperature rises, these thermal springs offer a tranquil oasis surrounded by lush greenery, creating a serene and inviting escape from the heat. 

If you’re after even more thermal pools, be sure to head to Mataranka Thermal Pool and Bitter Springs in Elsey National Park. The Mataranka Thermal Pool is a picturesque oasis with warm, crystal-clear waters surrounded by lush greenery, providing a delightful spot to unwind and relax. Bitter Springs offers a unique experience of floating along a gentle stream in warm waters, with an abundance of aquatic life and mesmerising natural beauty.

If you’re after a guided tour to explore Nitmiluk Gorge (Katherine Gorge), Nitmiluk Tours has got you covered! With a variety of guided experiences, you can embark on scenic cruises, canoeing adventures, and cultural tours, immersing yourself in the awe-inspiring landscapes and rich Indigenous heritage.

Top Diji Cultural Experience & Art Gallery provides a captivating cultural experience, inviting travellers to delve into the rich heritage of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. Led by knowledgeable Indigenous guides, these tours offer a deep connection to the land, its stories, and ancient traditions.

The Katherine Outback Experience is a captivating and authentic showcase of Australia’s Outback spirit and rural lifestyle. Tom Curtain, a multi-talented horseman and singer-songwriter, will take you on a mesmerising journey through the world of horsemanship and the challenges faced by farmers. With live demonstrations, working dog displays, and soulful country music performances, the show offers a genuine and heart-warming insight into the Outback way of life.

The Cutta Cutta Caves offer a fascinating underground adventure into the heart of ancient limestone formations. Guided tours take visitors through a network of stunning caves adorned with impressive stalactites and stalagmites, revealing the natural wonders created thousands of years.

The Katherine Museum is a captivating gateway to the rich history and cultural heritage of the Katherine region. Housed in a historic building, the museum showcases a diverse collection of artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that offer insights into the area’s pioneering past and Indigenous traditions.


Litchfield National Park

What to do?

In the heat of summer, Florence Falls, Wangi Falls, and Tolmer Falls become heavenly oases in the tropical paradise of Litchfield National Park. Surrounded by lush greenery, these picturesque waterfalls offer a refreshing retreat.

Buley Rockhole is a series of natural rock pools and cascades that offer the perfect break from the summer heat. The smooth granite boulders provide natural spa-like pools for a soothing dip.

One of the most awe-inspiring sights in Litchfield National Park is a vast expanse of Magnetic Termite mounds, reaching heights of up to two meters, gracefully lining a wide and flat plain. These architectural marvels, built by magnetic termites, stand tall and majestic, creating a surreal landscape that captures the imagination.


Important things to note

  • Park pass – When exploring national parks and reserves in the Northern Territory, you may need a park pass, which can be booked online. Ensure that you have the necessary passes and permits for your trip.
  • Be croc wise – We’re in crocodile country in the Northern Territory so it’s important we abide by croc safe rule.